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Three dead at Waikato property named

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/10/2016
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Police have named the couple killed at their Waikato property and confirmed the third body was that of fugitive Ross Bremner. Mona Waikoko Tuwhangai , 82, and Maurice Raymond O'Donnell, 72, were from Kinohaku. 

Earlier on Saturday police detailed every move they made in the hunt for Bremner who killed his mother Claire, 60, and critically injured his father Keith, 64, in Otorohanga on Tuesday.

Acting Superintendent Naila Hassan said the three bodies were discovered by a person visiting the couple's property after 7pm on Friday but they died several days earlier.

Bremner's silver Holden Vectra car was found there.

"This is a tragic outcome and we acknowledge the sense of shock this has brought to several close-knit Waikato communities," she said.

Police face questions about how they handled the hunt for Bremner and whether the public was warned properly about how dangerous he was.

Kinohaku is on Waikato's coast some distance away from Otorohanga.

Police do not know why Bremner went to the couple's property and say it's possible they did not know him at all.

His parents were attacked before 6.15pm on Tuesday, at least two hours before they were discovered.

Police took other family members to places of safety.

They had Bremner's mobile phone but it wasn't much help. He didn't have access to money and had few associates.

"There was no information available to police to indicate where he would go," Supt Hassan said.

The car was flagged throughout the police system. She said the search was primarily based in Otorohanga but alerts and information about the hunt were circulated to police throughout the upper and lower North Island.

More than 15 properties across the Te Awamutu, Pirongia and Otorohanga areas were searched on Wednesday morning and early afternoon, with the assistance of the armed offenders squad.

Also, at about 5pm on Wednesday, armed offenders squad members searched a farm in Aria.

Police checked three camping grounds at Kawhia on Wednesday. They checked out a sighting in Otorohanga but it wasn't Bremner and a sighting in Mt Maunganui was also checked out.

On Thursday and Friday police searched properties in Arapuni in south Waikato, Ohope Beach and Cambridge.

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